Home>Handling and Storing>Safer manual handling>Powered trucks take strain off workers

Powered trucks take strain off workers

22 October 2019

As manual handling is a major contributor to work days lost through injury, Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks is highlighting the benefits of electric hand pallet trucks in reducing strain on the workforce.

Stewart Gosling, sales director at Red Diamond Distribution, the exclusive UK importer of Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks, says: “Shifting loads over 500kg in the workplace can easily put you on the wrong side of official guidelines. Hand pallets are the biggest growth area in the sector, but anyone running manual trucks at their site should be aware of the effects they can have through long-term use.”

Guidelines from the HSE give 20kg for men and 15kg for women as an acceptable figure for the effort needed to start moving a load from stationary. This is around the typical maximum weight for a suitcase at an airport check-in.

Independent research of a wide variety of hand pallet trucks showed an average effort of 23.3kg from stationary for a 500kg load, and 49.6kg for a load of 2000kg — more than 2.5 times the guidelines.

Manual handling is responsible for more than a third of workplace injuries that require three or more days off. If your operators are regularly using hand pallet trucks, then switching to a powered version can greatly reduce the chance of worker injury.

The PBPL features a 48-volt Lithium-Ion power source for electric driving and lifting functions as well as manual lowering.

The maintenance-free, high-capacity 48V Lithium-Ion battery gives operators 6 hours of highly productive use. While the truck is busy, an extra battery can be charged in just 3.5 hours using the supplied external charging dock.

The regenerative brake system on PBPL not only improves the braking performance (another advantage over manual trucks) but also uses kinetic energy to charge the battery.

“Fatigue, back injury, strains and more all come in to play through repeated long shifts with a manual truck. Having the assistance of a powered truck can make a huge different to your staff’s wellbeing,” says Stewart.

“Given the increased productivity with an electric pallet truck, as well as the reduction in time taken off with injury, it’s easy to see how the cost benefits speak for themselves."

Stewart concludes:  “When you factor in all the gains from the upgrade, the outlay costs over a manual truck become fairly minimal, all told. If you’re moving heavy loads, why would you risk your operators’ health with a manual truck?”